It was a busy morning in Tampa as the last opportunity to talk to players and assistant coaches before Sunday ... the day started again with a 7 a.m. bus ride from the media center to the Cardinals team hotel -- no, that doesn't include travel time from Sarasota, but I'll spare you. Anyway, I'm noticing the number of people on the buses at 7 get smaller and smaller as the week goes on ...
I spent the entire Cards press conference taking video and notes from Immokalee native Edgerrin James, who elaborated more on his family and his past during this morning's press conference -- I'll have quotes from Edge in a blog later and video on the site this afternoon.
Biggest observation of the morning was the difference in atmosphere at the Cards and Steelers press conferences. First is location -- the Cards do it right at their hotel, in a nice white tent outside, and there are two different rooms to kind of keep things fairly quiet among different interviewees.
The Steelers, on the hand, hold a kind of organized chaos at the University of South Florida gym.
Other big difference was number of "media." I say "media" with quotation marks because some of these people were clearly not media. I guess they just snagged credentials and were able to sit in -- they took camera-phone photos and clapped during the press conference, which made for a bit of a weird environment.
I guess the press conference just sort of exemplifies the differences between the two teams -- the following/tradition they have, their styles (Arizona a little more finesse, stylish; Pittsburgh more grind it out), and their personnel (the experience and polished interview style of Kurt Warner vs. Ben Roethlisberger's inexperience and more brash interview style, etc.
About an hour left until the Bruce Springsteen and Faith Hill press conferences, so I'll have a lot more to blog about later. And quotes from this morning on their way in later blogs ...